Feb 3 - Safe Arrival Sri Lanka

Pos: N05deg57.028min/ E080deg26.661min. We tried our best to arrive to Galle during the daylight, but it was not to be. The problem was how to slow the boat down with 22-25 knots of wind directly behind us pushing us down the rhumb line, along with a 3-4 knot current from the stern pushing us as well! We were doing 4-5 knots under bare poles, when we needed to go 3-3.5 knots in order to arrive in the morning. We were turned 80 degrees to the course, scudding along with a small drogue attached to the stern, and the best we could slow down to was around 4 knots directly down the course line! This is serious current here! We spotted a pod of whales, with one being nearly as long as Infini, but haven't been able to identify the species yet. After a few hours of crabbing along, we changed our strategy and decided to just anchor for the night in one of the many bays which dot the SW coast. In came the drogue, out went the headsail, and we were making 6-7 knots speed without the mainsail up (me lazy). I had gotten the AIS working by substituting a spare GPS antennae, and it came in handy as there is a lot of shipping along the coast. Otto did a great job steering in moderate NE trade winds and 2 meter seas. By nightfall we had to dodge the squid fishing fleet as we turned the SW corner of Sri Lanka, but entering the small bay we had chosen to anchor in was no problem (we use CM93 as well as Navionics charts), and the anchor was down in 35 feet at 2300 hours. We'll clear into Galle first thing tomorrow morning. All's well aboard.

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